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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 March 2011

Workplace news in brief


Medirest NHS cleaners returned to the picket line on 7 March for a three-day strike in their ongoing battle over unpaid wages and sick pay. The failure to implement the NHS job evaluation agreement Agenda for Change in 2006 has left the workers without their right to NHS terms and conditions.

"We are not going away and will be here for as long as it takes!" was the angry and determined message from the pickets.

Stewards Jo Spear and Jacek Cholewicki demanded the chief executive meet to resolve the outstanding issues and are due to have face to face talks on 9 March.

Post office strike ballot

Workers in the Crown post office network have voted for strike action by nine to one, with a 66% turnout. The dispute is over pay and job security for the 4,000 staff in the 373 Crown post offices. In spite of making increased profits last year, the Post Office is refusing a staff pay rise for this year and is considering closing more Crown offices. The union is seeking further negotiations.


Around 7,000 workers in Jobcentre Plus call centres are balloting for strike action over intolerable working conditions. The PCS members are fighting a bullying management who are obsessed by hitting targets, rather than providing a good public service. 2,000 staff went on strike in January over the same issues and the battle has now been widened to include all staff affected by these conditions.


Manchester RMT activist of 21 years Chris Smart has been sacked on trumped up charges by Network Rail. Network Rail has a history of attacking RMT reps and Chris is the latest example.

Chris visited blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson at Fiddlers Ferry, where he spoke to the Socialist: "I was sacked on 14 February 2011 for allegedly bullying my manager in the course of my union duties.

"It is completely untrue. I would never use my union position to bully anyone. It would not even occur to me.

"But other reps need to be aware of my case. As a union rep you are on a knife edge. If you are effective the company can accuse you of bullying their managers. Even the Tribunal judge said it is going to be unique - he had never seen a case before of a manager being bullied by a subordinate."

Andy Ford Warrington Trades Council

Northern Ireland

In recent elections the left has scored a major victory in Northern Ireland's largest trade union, NIPSA. Three Socialist Party members topped the poll on the executive, with the left winning 12 out of 25 seats.


For more information on workplace and trade union issues, see For more on NIPSA see the CWI website:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 9 March 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

We can stop cuts!

Rage against all cuts!

Labour councils should fight cuts, not implement them!

Demonstrations against council cuts

Socialist Party youth and students

For a fighting student leadership

Jarrow march for jobs: Why Hull is marching

Students sit in at Sheffield

International socialist news and analysis

Middle East uprisings: The unfinished revolutions

Socialist Party news and analysis

Lib Dems 'get a kicking' in Barnsley

Wales votes 'yes' but workers' party needed

Lewisham: Vote for a real fight against the cuts

Cardiff march and rally against cuts

Brighton: Labour and Green Party councillors fail to stop Tory budget

Tories allow growth of Murdoch media empire

TUC must address demo access issue

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

BP Hull Saltend construction workers win victory through strike action

Fighting the anti-trade union laws

UCU members vote for action on pensions, jobs and pay

Unison expulsion

Workplace news in brief

Take out a May Day greeting!

Socialist Party feature

Casualties of cuts - and a rotten system

Needed: a fair deal for carers!

Care - condition critical


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